Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Reader Question: Cross-Generational Sports

Photos by Salt Water New England
When I was growing up in the 1970s, there were a handful of canon sports that entire families played, such as tennis, sailing and skiing.   Friends and neighbors inevitably played the same ones.  Equipment was passed around, handed down and periodically refreshed.  What are the sports today that cross generations and neighbors?




17 comments:

  1. Same as they always were. Showed my horse in jumping equitation, was a ski instructor for years, wife and I met playing tennis in college (both were on mens and womens teams, raced MORCB sailboats, and golf as a family.

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  2. You have rightly identified golf and sailing. I know swimmers, surfers, rowers, runners and cyclists who are in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

    In addition to tennis, I'd add badminton and (possibly) squash. Equestrian sports are cross-generational for those who can afford them. Hunting and shooting are two obvious others.

    In the end, most sports can be cross-generational if you are fit and able. My mother played golf, tennis and badminton regularly in her late 70s.

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  3. Tennis is a game for life, or so they say. I play avidly, 3-4 times a week. I play younger and older guys and women (mixed doubles) regularly. Age is much less important than skill set and ability. While our family does hand down equipment and there are a few wooden racquets hiding somewhere, everyone I play uses modern equipment.

    I just bought two new racquets—a mix of hyper MG graphite, Kevlar and boron with something called “micro offset technology” and “Quake Shut Gel Air” (I’m not kidding) to reduce vibration. Those poor old wooden racquets don’t stand a chance.

    Aiken

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  4. Here in Maryland, it's lacrosse. The University of Maryland (current men's and women's national champions) and Johns Hopkins both can boast third-generation players.

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  5. Croquet! More game than athletic endeavor, but still fun to play on a lazy afternoon. And the older the croquet set, the better, in my opinion. Sigh. Is it summer yet?

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    Replies
    1. If golf counts as a sport, then so does croquet! ;)

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    2. I need to investigate croquet. Been years since I played. There is a nice level area in my yard that would make great playing field.

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  6. Cycling is a big one - we see lots of entire families on bikes at races and there's a huge emphasis on junior racing at most of the places we've lived.

    The equestrian sports also run in the family for lots of people because of how intensive it can be, especially at the competitive level. It wasn't uncommon to see parents out on pleasure rides on the trails with their kid's retired show horses or their own older horses while their children did lessons in the arena when I was an equestrian. Also, safety gear has changed a lot for riding so I never wore their helmets but I did ride in my mom's old show jacket from the 1970's for fun with my more modern breeches. When I was 11 or 12 I asked to wear her fun velvet helmet while on on my horse she said absolutely not and explained why. The old saddles are basically decor, too, though there are a few English saddles that are from the 80's that would still be useable if we changed out the leathers and stirrups and were probably used as late as the 2010's but the tech in saddles have made them better for both horse and rider, too, so we'll probably never pull them out for use again. Additionally, I don't like to leave the ground so I just have dressage saddles - my mother's were jumpers.

    - ER

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  7. Tennis big time multigenerational. A sport more of skill than stamina, although being young doesn't hurt, there is a tipping point. The baby boomers in our family can still deliver a wallop. This can be said of sailing too; being able to read the wind & waves well is an old salt's edge - racing is a friendly betting venture in our family. Not so much for skiing or riding unless you take the more moderate runs & courses. We may start out as a group, but the young ones race ahead.

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  8. I've seen a lot of multi aged groups playing the game, "Corn Hole", these past 10 years or so.

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  9. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, paddleboarding, hiking, kayaking.....so many!

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  10. Fly-fishing. Still use my grandfather's House of Hardy fly reels.

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  11. Cross-country skiing, long distance (road) bicycling, (tent) camping and hiking. Horseback riding was something our mother and we did together years ago. Sadly, my wife is less interested in the latter although we have several English-style stables near us. I might try our son with it this summer though.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich von B.

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  12. If people want to compare croquet with golf, they should pick up all of the gear and carry it for 10kms before playing.

    I find people who make the golf is not a sport argument only see golf as an activity that is done a couple of times a year while drinking PBR and riding a cart.

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  13. and in our extended family we've had an enjoyable tradition of annual 'Beach Olympics' with events such as: Heaving of Heavy Objects, Crab Walk, Backwards Long Jump and (to the terror of young mothers) The Baby Toss for Height, Distance and Accuracy. Final event is a Tug o' War.

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  14. Showing horses, Golf, Skiing.

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